National Police Service Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: August 12, 2024

National Police Service Day in the Philippines National Police Service Day (Araw ng Pambansang Serbisyong Pangpulisya) is observed in the Philippines annually on August 12. It commemorates the creation of the Philippine Constabulary that would eventually merge with the Integrated National Police to form the Philippine National Police.

During the years of the Spanish rule, law enforcement functions in the Philippines were carried out by the Civil Guard, the Philippine branch of the Spanish Civil Guard. After the capture of President Emilio Aguinaldo during the Philippine-American War, which meant the de facto defeat of the First Philippine Republic, the American occupational government created the Philippine Constabulary to replace the Civil Guard and maintain peace, law, and order across the Philippines.

The Philippine Constabulary (Hukbong Pamayapa ng Pilipinas) was officially established on August 12, 1901. It was a gendarmerie-type paramilitary police force whose primary tasks were law enforcement, protection of life and property, and assisting the US military in combating insurrectionists who refused to follow Aguinaldo’s example and swear allegiance to the US government.

Following the creation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the National Defense Act of 1935, the Philippine Constabulary was reorganized as military police and became an arm of the newly created Armed Forces. Serving in the Constabulary counted as military service, and enlisted men and officers could be transferred between the army and the Constabulary at any time.

Until the mid-1970s, the Philippine Constabulary mostly performed military police functions and assisted independent municipal and city police forces when necessary. When President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, the Philippine Constabulary played a crucial role in arresting and containing his political opponents, enforcing curfews, and suppressing rallies and strikes.

In 1975, Marcos established the second police force, the Integrated National Police (INP), tasked with maintaining peace and order in cities and large towns. The Philippine Constabulary and the INP had the same command structure, and the two forces were jointly referred to as the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police.

After the deposition of Marcos during the People Power Revolution, the new government of the Philippines enshrined the principle of civilian supremacy over the military. Five years after the revolution, the Integrated National Police and the Philippine Constabulary were merged and transformed into a civilian police force named the Philippine National Police.

National Police Service Day is observed every year to commemorate the formation of the Philippine Constabulary, celebrate all the men and women serving in the Philippine National Police, and express appreciation and gratitude for their dedication and service to the community. It is a working holiday, so employees are not entitled to a day off unless National Police Service Day falls on a weekend.

National Police Service Day should not be confused with National Police Anniversary Day (Araw ng Pagkakatatag ng Pambansang Pulisya). The latter is celebrated on January 29 to commemorate the merger of the Integrated National Police and the Philippine Constabulary and the formation of the Philippine National Police in 1991.

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National Police Service Day in the Philippines, observances in the Philippines, professional days, Philippine Constabulary